The Psychosocial Wellness of Refugees: Issues in Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Frederick L. Ahearn, Jr (ed)
In recent years, scholars in the fields of refugee studies and forced migration have extended their areas of interest and research into the phenomenon of displacement, human response to it, and ways to intervene to assist those affected, increasingly focusing on the emotional and social impact of displacement on refugees and their adjustment to the traumatic experiences. In the process, the positive concept of "psychosocial wellness" was developed as discussed in this volume. In it noted scholars address the strengths and limitations of their investigations, citing examples from their work with refugees from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Palestine, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, Eastern Europe, Bosnia, and Chile. The authors discuss how they define "psychosocial wellness," as well as the issues of sample selection, measurement, reliability and validity, refugee narratives and "voices," and the ability to generalize findings and apply these to other populations. The key question that has guided many of these investigations and underlies the premise of this book is "what happens to an ordinary person who has experienced an extraordinary event?" This volume also highlights the fact that those involved in such research must also deal with their own emotional responses as they hear victims tell of killing, torture, humiliation, and dispossesion. The volume will therefore appeal to practitioners of psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, and anthropology. However, its breadth and the evaluation of the strengths and disadvantages of both qualitative and quantitative methods also make it an excellent text for students.